Posts tagged ‘Salad’

February 28, 2013

Homemade Taco $easoning

You know you’re a bad blogger when you forget your username and password at sign in. Add on the fact that WordPress got a whole new look since the last time you logged on? Yeah, I officially feel like sh!t. To be honest, I don’t know where my lovespiration for my little place on the good ol’ interweb has gone lately. I’ll blame my incredible job for draining most of my creative mojo from my noggin’. So why I am I trying to get back into things again after almost three whole months of being out of the blogosphere? For one, I’ve felt guilty. Guilty that friends on LinkedIn have been endorsing my blogging skill. (Hey, thumbs up for that!) Guilty that–my big head is talking here, naturally–I’ve been keeping my favorite peeps in the dark. But more importantly, I feel guilty for feeling guilty, if that makes any sense at all. I miss blabbing about the things I sometimes question people actually read. Let me take a quick moment to thank some encouraging tweets and Facebook messages as of late that have spurred my revival: “@soybeanflan: Whenever I want to eat something terrible I think #WWLCD ‘what would @SprinkledwLove do’ then I’m snapped back into reality” and from a talented artist that I know, “I think you should upload workouts!!! I’ve already done your sexy arm one you posted on insta!!! It’s not everyday that a gal who’s intimidated by weights (me) sees a girl who looks amaze not be intimidated by them and actually know what they’re doing!!!!” You guys…I’m blushing! And yes, I’ll try to do more workout-based posts. They’re in the works!

Holy guacamole!

So with that being said, I’m sick of switching off my brain after leaving the office each day and having a rather unproductive personal life, creatively speaking. I mean, I’ve been finding pleasure (loser alert!) editing my sister’s scholarship essays lately. Like, ew. I have a brand new computer and rarely touch it–instead spending my down time serial watching Netflix and Hulu+. Ahem, I’m almost fully caught up on the first season of Revenge. Come on, though…can you blame me on that? To get back in the swing of things, I’d like to present you with the epic, Oscar-worthy taco salad I chopped up this past Sunday for myself and my main squeeze. After watching a little Guy Fieri on the treadmill and diving into the documentary Hungry For Change (haven’t seen it? Welp, you need to…) I was inspired to create my own taco seasoning. Who needs the sodium-laden, pricy packets from the store when you have all of the ingredients already in your pantry? Get ready to get saucy.

Here’s all you need to spice up your [salad] life:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon minced onion
Pinch of dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes
Black pepper and salt to taste

Mix into a pound or so of ground meat or block of tofu, alongside chopped jalapeño, sautéed mushrooms and frozen corn. Add alongside a heap of black beans, cheese, avocado slices, crumbled chips and tomatoes over a bed of greens and holy guacamole, you’re ready for a healthy foodie fiesta! Hint: fresh cilantro. Just do it.
Do you make your own seasonings and dressings?

Sprinkled with Love[ly, taco spices],
Lauren

November 26, 2012

Trottin’ Like Turkeys

I didn’t really know what to expect this Thanksgiving but after my conductor gobbled at EVERY stop on my train ride back to Connecticut, I had a good feeling. (No, I was not able to nap because of his outlandish noises but I give the guy credit for being all festive I guess.) After years of putting on the hoopla for my grandmother and uncle’s sake, my parents, sister and I didn’t really know what to make of the holiday without them. We originally planned on going north to Vermont, avoiding tradition altogether, when our good friends–or should I just call them family at this point–invited us to join them for dinner. It was pretty perfect and after my dad being sick and all, it was nice to not have the added stress the holiday can present. Plus, since we stayed local, I was able to run in the annual Turkey Trot with my favorite running pal! Doesn’t get much better than that. 

With my half so close (one week from today…ahhhh!) and Mandi training for one, as well, we decided to turn the five mile race into 10. You know those crazy people running to the race? That was us. Surprisingly enough, it was a great idea. It felt good to get such a nice warm-up in before getting our Turkey Trot on and as Mandi put it, pushing through the last five with so many people around kept us moving toward that finish line. I mean, everyone from our towns were there, we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves after all. All of that running lent for a guilt-free Thanksgiving, which was two plates full of turkey, slaw and roasted veggies for me! My simple, seasonal broccoli slaw salad was awesome, if I do say so myself (recipe below). The perfect crunch to pair with the whole turkey and mashed potato bit with a sweet tang from chopped apple chunks and the occasional dried cranberry…I may have singlehandedly ate half of that bowl. 

Ingredients
12-ounce package of broccoli slaw
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Stevia packet
Salt and pepper, to taste

Since my family loves leftovers–who doesn’t!–we ended up making our own bird and a few favorite side dishes the following night. It was weird not having Mike around to devour a plate or two of grub with me. The man I’m most thankful for couldn’t celebrate this year because of work (stupid football!) but don’t you worry, I brought him back a huge container of his favorite Thanksgiving things to show him how grateful I am to have him. I mean, come on, no Thanksgiving? That’s just plain wrong and he deserved some turkey. As you can see, the slaw made another appearance. You know a recipe is good when you make it two days in a row. Oh and in my opinion, avocado trumps gravy any day. Yum!

I have so much to be thankful for this year although, as you know, it’s been a bit of a crazy one. It was a bit strange not having Grandma Ginger and Uncle Ricky across from me Thursday night, but as I toasted to all that I am thankful for and clinked my wine glass with my dad, I couldn’t help but focus on the positive. I’m living in arguably the best city on Earth with the guy I fell in love with when I was 17-years-old. I have a dream of a job that I look forward to every single day. I am surrounded by the most incredible, supportive friends and family anyone could ask for. After quite the scare, my dad is well and even starting to run again. I cannot wait to jog alongside him as I compete in my second half marathon. Let the carboloading begin!
What dish did you contribute to your Thanksgiving dinner?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

October 2, 2012

What’s Up, October?

Wow. So it’s October. Where has the time gone? I honestly couldn’t tell you. It’s funny how fast a month blows by when you’re working — and enjoying every second of it. Part of that territory, however, has been a lack of culinary creativity and blog inspiration, as you may have noticed. Sorry but after a long day of editorial work, whipping a post together and/or an interesting meal consisting of anything but a green smoothie and omelet just isn’t high on the priority list. I hate that and I’m really going to work on it. I’ve missed the blogosphere and remember, this whole thing is new so there’s still hope!

Here’s an attempt to reclaim my blogging dignity after weeks of leaving you all in the dark. This past weekend, my mom and I took a road trip to visit my sister for her Family Weekend. I had only ever been to her school, UNH, once way back in my field hockey days so it was great seeing her campus, touring her sorority house and shopping around nearby Portsmouth. Although the weather was less-than-stellar, we had a great time. (Well, besides the fact my mom and I barely slept a wink in the crappy Comfort Inn we stayed in…thanks to a few hot messes of a bridal party who were staying the room next to us. UGH.) Kru is Little Miss Popular on campus, has a new boyf and navigated us around the gorgeous area like a champ. I’m so happy and proud of her. Unlike New York, fall was in full swing, which was fun to dress for and every restaurant we went to had seasonal menu items we took advantage of!

I recently was talking with two friends over lunch about how little I miss college (I know, I’m weird but the real world has been treating me too well!) but being back in that environment made me extremely nostalgic. Piling two bowls to the brim with salad bar fixings in the dining hall, seeing my sister’s sorority sister getting ready for a fraternity party across the street and just the cozy, rainy weather in general (the best days to skip class and watch movies in bed….) made me want to go back. It’s utterly depressing to think that I’m too old for that now, that I’ll never get to do that again. Well, the cozy rainy days, yes, but only on the weekends. 

Anyway, today I’m back to reality and coming to the realization that it’s October, fall and that my years of sorority squats, homework, dining hall eating, etc. are behind me. It took me one weekend after five months of being out of it to really sink in. I’m scared for how I’ll be feeling two weeks from now, when I head back to UConn for my first Homecoming as an alum. Sad face. Instead of ending this post on such a sour note, I want to highlight what I love about this season.

1. Pumpkin-flavored anything. Surprise, surprise. I’m no different than any other food blogger out there! Oh, and anything to do with apples: apple picking, baking, eating…you know the drill.
2. Boots. I’m thinking about pulling the trigger on these babies. Aren’t they gorg? Too bad I’m cutting my first rent check today. Bye, bye money.
3. Running. Nothing out of the ordinary here but isn’t it just glorious to 
trot along in the crisp air with crunching leaves under your feet and the smell of a burning fire?
4. Layering. Fall ensembles I think are my favorite simply because you can make anything look chic, thanks to layering. Flannels, skinny jeans/cords (ahhh hello, corduroy! I’ve missed ya) with a jean jacket or quilted vest. Like.
5. Soup. Mike and I have already been plotting our first batch of chili! Remember last year?
What’s your favorite thing about fall?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

September 3, 2012

A Lazy Sunday

After crossing so much off my to-do list Saturday, Mike and I enjoyed a doubledate night out on the town with friends, Bre and Anthony. Thanks to the awesome Living Social deal us gals purchased, we enjoyed cheap laughs ($20 for two tickets and two drinks) at The World Stand Up Comedy Club before heading back to our apartment to continue our fun on the rooftop–with a quick pit stop for $1 slices thrown in there.

As if my last post jinxed me, yesterday I wasn’t as productive as I had planned, work-wise. I’ll have to make up for that today. However after an early wakeup–my mental alarm roused me from my slumber at a not-so-lovely 6:50–I made breakfast in bed for my man and myself using leftovers from a spicy veggie-filled quinoa and convinced him to go for a stroll. After months of living off Muscle Milk, he has certainly been eating like a king since I moved in. This morning he got his new favorite “hot chocolate oats” as I’ve been calling them, which includes 1/2 cup Earnest Eats Mayan Blend, 1/4 cup regular oats, 1 cup milk, 1 scoop of Chocolate Muscle Milk powder and topped with a scoop of peanut butter, sprinkle of stevia, cinnamon and frozen berries. He’s so spoiled.

 

So back to our romantic stroll. We. Walked. Far. Let’s just say we left a little after 9 and didn’t get back to our place until, oh, 2:00. We had intended on just walking up to Central Park but found ourselves gravitating toward the water first, enjoying the Hudson and views of a lone sailboat. We discovered the Hudson River Park, where I plan on running after I finish this here post, and watched a sorority’s philanthropy race along the way. After making our way up into the high 70s, we cut over to Central Park and weaved our way through, seeing the Conservatory Water, Zoo, among other things. Halfway through our walk, I smiled to myself realizing how little conversation we had shared in the woods. We were both lost in our own thoughts, enjoying the sounds of nature and patter of our strides. 

We emerged near Fifth Ave. when realized how much of an appetite we had worked up. Insert “Operation Find a Place with Large Portioned Salads.” We wandered and wandered some more before coming across the Renaissance Diner’s extensive menu and outdoor seating. Done and done.

 

We both toyed with the idea of an Acapulco Salad (organic greens, mango, orange, yellow and red peppers, topped with chicken, shredded coconut and orange dressing) but decided on a spicier alternative, a Mexican Salad with marinated chicken, avocado, mango and a cilantro lime dressing, was what we were jonesing for. Fueling up on a hearty salad and a big cup of tea energized me enough to squeeze in a 3-mile jog on the treadmill later while shamelessly watching old Hills episodes on MTV. The rest of the afternoon was lazy…


He was pooped. Sorry I’m not sorry for being a stalker, Mike. I skipped nap time but was in bed by 9. Yep, wild Labor Day partying for this gal! Well, I’m off to go back to where our journey started yesterday for a nice slow jog. Lots to do today to prepare for the upcoming week, including some meal prep I hope to share with you–I haven’t forgotten about my lunch talk! 
What fitness fun has filled your holiday weekend?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

May 14, 2012

Tequila Lime Shrimp and Quinoa Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad

Ok, so I got sidetracked with the two recipes I promised you all last week! I’ve been lollygagging ever since graduation (post tomorrow on that!). Oops? Don’t hate…I’m getting used to life as an unemployed, recent grad. Here you go:

Tequila Lime Shrimp
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño
1/4 cup tequila
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup lime juice (and zest)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 pounds of shrimp, shelled and deveined

Directions: Similar to the chicken from my last post, I marinaded these babies overnight to ensure a powerful punch of flavor and boy, did they deliver! Every last shrimp was snarfed down in a matter of minutes. So let’s get started. After removing the shells and veins, place the shrimp in a large resealable plastic bag with all the ingredients EXCEPT for the lime juice—the acidity will actually start cooking them so wait to add that until right before you throw it on the grill! Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. After the shrimp have soaked up all the glorious juices, spear them onto skewers (next time I’ll be adding veggies and maybe some pineapple to the kabobs?) and place them on the grill until pink. Easy enough, right? Yum.

Quinoa Black Bean & Grilled Corn Salad
1 cup dry quinoa
3 ears of corn, grilled
2 cans black beans
1/2 cup cilantro
2 beef steak tomatoes
2 scallions1 avocado
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon jalapeño, minced
Salt, pepper and lime juice to taste 

Directions: This recipe is super easy to make in advance (just add the avocado right before serving), not to mention you can basically alter it anyway you see fit for fab results. Start by cooking the quinoa and grilling your corn. Allow for the corn to cool before cutting the kernels off the husks! Roughly chop the tomatoes, fresh cilantro and scallions. Combine the cooled quinoa and corn with everything else (rinse and drain the beans, chop the veggies, mince the and jalapeño, etc.). Serve cold. Don’t forget to add in the avocado! The lime should keep it from browning after serving.

Can’t wait to recreate these!

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

April 11, 2012

Hungry Hungry Hippo

I’ve been ravenous lately, eating everything and anything in sight…hungry hungry hippo-style. Well, that is if a hippo ate squirrel/bird food with the copious amount of nuts and seeds I’ve been consuming. I don’t know what has gotten into me, especially since this is the least strenuous week of training. Maybe it’s the fact that I subconsciously am loading up for my race at the end of the week? I’ve also been under a bit of stress with a lot of work due this week so maybe that’s the culprit.

Who knows and who cares. I’ve been listening to my body and powering through a hectic past 72 hours thanks to lots of healthy grub. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what was gobbled up yesterday. Warning: I forgot to capture quite a few things…don’t hate me!

I snoozed my 6:00 a.m. alarm yesterday morning for a full hour. I was not feeling an early start, apparently. After FINALLY dragging myself out of bed, I made a fruity smoothie to power me through a light cardio/ab workout. 8 oz. of Silk Light Original, a plain Chobani, 1/2 of a frozen banana, 2 tbsp hemp seed protein and a handful of strawberries was blended into a thick treat, which was then topped generously with flaxseed meal, chia and raspberries. So. Good. 44 people liked the picture above on Instagram, which naturally put a smile on my face!

I was on the go for lunch, working on two papers with Bre that were due today, so munched on an apple with soy nut butter and two hard boiled eggs at Starbucks, alongside too much caffeine. Baby carrots, red pepper slices alongside two or three servings of sunflower seeds were later consumed before a quick nap. Sleepy and hungry, what is my deal? Waking up rejuvenated, I tackled dinner and homework (while things were getting toasty and browned in the oven). How pretty is that bed of spinach? Roasted veggies and edamame topped a huge salad, which I then drizzled with balsamic vinegar, a little cayenne pepper and nooch. Super satisfying! Popcorn was shared with my roomie later on at the kitchen table, as we tackled the crazy amount of work we have left before graduation. Alrighty, I’m off to class! Running on coffee, as I’m sure you can tell…such a big week!
What’s your favorite smoothie ingredient? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

February 29, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday (#nofilter)

Every Wednesday, many of my favorite bloggers participate in Peas and Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday, where they share their meals from the day before. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love posts like this simply because it helps connect, understand and really get to know the people behind both the apron and computer screen a little bit better. Plus, you can’t beat the recipe inspiration!

So guess what? After weeks of putting “WIAW” on my to do list, I remembered this week. Well sort of…I may have forgotten to take a few pictures but here are the highlights.

Breakfast yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary. Two eggs over hard, sprinkled with nooch and chia seeds (not pictured), followed by a banana with crunchy nut butter. I decided to put a “Love Your Veggies Month” twist on the naner/PB combo by stealing an idea Aubrey, from I Talk To Food, put on Instagram recently: a green wrap. Thanks collard greens!

This semester, it has become a weekly tradition to get “swiped” into my favorite dining hall every Tuesday afternoon by one of my besties, Erica. Frequent trips to arguably the best salad bar on campus is always encouraged and mountainous piles of greens are consumed, which are always topped with an enormous helping of homemade hummus. This week was nothing different…ahem, the above photo was one of two plates.

Onto dinner. Since I leave campus for Manhattan Wednesdays after class, Tuesday night meals have become a schmorgesborg. I had to cook up a package or ground turkey before it’s sell by date so I paired a large serving of it with roasted asparagus and veggie chips (sweet potato and kale). To reward myself for a successful day of studying, I ended my day with a big bowl of air-popped popcorn (with a few sprays of liquid aminos and shake or two of nooch) to accompany me in my Smash catch-up session. Yesterday was clean eating at its finest!
What did you eat yesterday? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

February 21, 2012

Instagramed Intern Fuel

Peanut butter, coffee, salad, repeat. Oh and a few restless hours of shut eye thrown in here and there. That’s what I’ve been running (literally!) on lately.

The spring semester of your senior year is supposed to be cinch. I mean it’s called “senioritis” for a reason, right?! Yeah, about that…

Mine has been anything but easy thus far but I can’t complain. The career-boosting, educational pros outweigh the tiresome cons. And then some. The good news is only TWO WEEKS stand between me and spring break. Let the countdown begin. I can’t wait to be cruisin’ through the Caribbean with nothing but a bottle of tanning lotion (spf 15, of course), a tiny bikini and a good book. Add in a refreshing beverage of some sort and you have one grinning, soon-to-be graduating gal! 

To compensate for my lack of Thursday/Friday “college life,” I’ve been eating a lot of good food. Dining out and trying new cuisine truly is my kind of weekend…I can’t feel guilty with providing my body the fuel it needs for training and commuting! My friend Laura and I checked out a new place a town over from us called Mad Gourmet, which I can’t rave enough about. Braised kale and beet greens stew with cannelli beans and grilled chicken? Someone just found the way to this foodie’s heart. I’m already thinking about what I’m going to try next!


My training is one of the few things that has remained consistent and strong ever since I made the 13.1 commitment. I’m so proud of how far I’ve already come and am glad that I have this one “constant” to keep me going. Only seven weeks until the big day!

I had to give you a little taste of the healthy meal I whipped up Saturday night. Powered by proteins, wrapped up in lettuce, this dish is going to blow you away. Save the drooling for when the post goes up hopefully today or tomorrow…it’s midterms week over here! Ew, bleh, gross. I know.

Ha, had to end on this note. I guess it’s time to do laundry when toe socks are all you have left. Injinjis are great, though, I do admit. Just take a little time to get used to.
What have you been running on? 

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

November 12, 2011

Trendy Tapas

I’m a fan of tapas restaurants. Add in cuisine with a Latin Asian flair and I’m there. After Mike got out of work last night, we headed to DohYo Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen around the corner from his place. It was a good thing it was close with the dropping temperatures and my tendinitis acting up! Anyway, DohYo’s ambience was pretty “trendy,” as Mike described, with its modern lounge/dining area, bumpin’ club in the back and anime-meets-just-plain-bizarre decor. It was quite the experience but needless to say, the food was absolutely outstanding. 

I started off with a Peach & Bourbon Tea (bourbon, peach nectar and green tea), which was divine. I mean, green tea is good for you, right? Well, no need to justify a nice cocktail every once in a while, you only live once. Cheers!

Without further ado, we dove into the menu. Mike is not going to be happy with me about this candid. Oops!?

To start, we each ordered a Chile Dusted Tuna Salad which had seared ahi tuna, avocado, snow peas and roasted shallots over a bed of mixed greens with a drizzle of miso-mustard vinaigrette. It was just as amazing as it sounds (and looks!). The clean taste of the avocado paired beautifully with the tender tuna and crunch of roasted shallots.

Mike, of course, couldn’t resist the House Ground Beef Sliders for his main course. Get the man a Stella and you’ve got yourself one happy boyfriend! Note that instead of a traditional pickle, the pair of burgers came with a pickled okra. Pretty cool, although Mike wouldn’t try it…

The Wok Seared Cauliflower with ginger, garlic and thai chile was one of the first things on the menu that jumped out to me. I love me some cauliflower! For only $5, this was a bargain side dish full of flavor and a mighty kick. Note to self: if you’re going to try a chile, go for a small piece of one first, not a whole half. My mouth was on fire! Maybe that’s where my drink went…

I had my heart set on the seared scallops for my main entree but since that was the one menu item of the evening they were not serving, I went for the Black Cod and I am so glad that I did! Everything happens for a reason, right? The first was served with a pickled artichoke, teriyaki-balsamic reduction and lemon sake aioli. Holy cannoli it was fantastic. The fish was cooked to perfection with a buttery flavor that melted in my mouth. I’m a sucker for anything dripping in balsamic and this sauce took it up a notch with the hint of teriyaki. Simply out of this world.

I told you the place was a bit bizarre, did I not?

Are you a tapas fan? Do you share dishes to try more of the menu or do you stick to a few plates all for yourself?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

August 3, 2011

Yep, Another Salad Recipe Coming At Ya!

So I bet you’re probably getting sick of all my salad posts right about now. I’m sorry…I really am but when the humidity is so thick you can cut the air with a knife, the only thing that gets my taste buds goin’ are crisp greens. Why not soak up all the fresh ingredients you can get while they are in season, right? While skimming through the recipes on one of my favorite blogs, With Style & Grace, I came across this Chickpea and Basil Salad and stopped dead in my tracks. You all know by now that I adore chickpeas. Add in my favorite herb, basil, and you’ve got yourself a winner in my book. So needless to say, I made it (with minor changes) shortly after my discovery, spooned some over mixed greens and loved it. Best thing about it? It is ridiculously easy. Perfect after a rough day of lounging by a pool…

Ingredients
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 a carton of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 english cucumber, quartered
1 1/2 red bell peppers, diced (1 would do just fine!)
3 scallions, diced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Juice from 2 small lemons
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper
Optional toppings: crumbed cheeses (i.e. goat or feta) and/or slices of avocado

The directions are super tedious so get your thinking caps on. Just kidding! All you have to do is chop, dice and cut everything up before combining it all into a large bowl. Whisk together the vinaigrette and drizzle over the veggie/bean mix. Season and let marinate before topping a salad, pasta or eating as is. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite herb?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren